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Treaty With China—Reported Massacres In—Question

Volume 202: debated on Thursday 7 July 1870

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said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether Her Majesty's Government have determined whether or not to advise Her Majesty to ratify the Convention lately concluded with China by Sir Rutherford Alcock; and, if so, whether he can state what their decision may be? He also wished to inquire, whether any information has been received respecting the reported massacre of Europeans in that country?

said, in reply, that it was not the intention of the Government to recommend Her Majesty to ratify the Convention recently concluded by Sir Rutherford Alcock. A communication would be made by way of answer to the memorial of the merchants without delay by the Secretary of State, and that communication would state the reasons which had induced the Government to come to the decision he (Mr. Otway) had announced. No confirmation of the rumoured massacre of the French Chargé d'Affaires and other Europeans at Pekin had been received at the Foreign Office; and the Government were of opinion that Mr. Wade, our representative in that city, would not have hesitated to despatch a courier with information of so grave an occurrence; but the rumour was generally believed in Paris. Her Majesty's Government hoped it would turn out to be without foundation.

said, one account said Pekin and the other Tien-tsin; but the account received was confused.